LAS CRUCES, N.M. - A New Mexico man accused of strangling and forcibly feeding methamphetamine to a cat has been charged with a felony count of animal cruelty.
Aaron Spaulding, 39, was already facing multiple felony counts from a domestic incident.
On June 2, Spaulding beat his girlfriend and held the woman against her will, police say. Investigators believe a verbal argument turned physical, and authorities say Spaulding punched her multiple times and took away her cellphone.
While investigating those allegations, police learned that Spaulding was possibly neglecting his two pets – a dog and a male domestic shorthair cat.
Police suspect Spaulding abused the feline by squeezing it until it cried out, strangling it and feeding it drugs.
A veterinarian examined the cat and indicated to police that the cat showed signs of neurological deficits. The cat’s blood tested positive for methamphetamine.
Police said the cat was ultimately adopted into a caring home.
Spaulding was charged in June with false imprisonment, two counts of battery against a household member, interference with communication and two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. One of those counts of animal cruelty has now been upgraded to a felony after the cat tested positive for methamphetamine.
Spaulding was arrested June 4 and released on bond June 24.
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This article originally appeared on Las Cruces Sun-News: Las Cruces, New Mexico man Aaron Spaulding choked cat, fed it meth